Kílian Jornet descends Stob Coire a' Chairn. Photo: No Limits Photography

Kílian Jornet descends Stob Coire a' Chairn. Photo: No Limits Photography

Catalan runner Kílian Jornet and Swede Tove Alexandersson stamped their authority on the world skyrunning championships with victories in the Salomon Ring of Steall Race on Saturday.

Jornet, who broke the record for the Lakeland Bob Graham Round earlier this year, will take a brief rest before defending his record in the tough Glen Coe Skyline Race on Sunday.

Alexandersson was running only her second ever skyrace, and finished almost 19 minutes faster than the course record, ahead of Brits Victoria Wilkinson in second place and Holly Page in third.

Jornet also smashed the race record by 20 minutes.

The event was one of four races being held in Scotland as it hosts for the first time the biennial skyrunning world championships. Skyrunning combines the disciplines of fellrunning and mountaineering, with courses run over technical terrain that involves scrambling or even rock-climbing.

Tove Alexandersson on her way to victory. Photo: No Limits Photography

Tove Alexandersson on her way to victory. Photo: No Limits Photography

The long weekend of racing based around Kinlochleven kicked off on Thursday with the vertical kilometre event, won by Swiss athlete Rémi Bonnet with a fastest course time gaining him the vertical skyrunning world title for 2018.

The 23-year-old Salomon-sponsored athlete said: “It was really cold out there and in the first part of the race I fell into a bog up to my waist.

“But I enjoyed the course and I love running in the mountains so I was very happy to race in Scotland.

“It feels very good to be the winner.”

Spanish runner Laura Orgué beat her own record set last year to take the women’s vertical championship.

The Salomon athlete said: “I am from southern Europe where it is much warmer so I found the race very cold.

“It was a hard course as well but I am happy to finish and I am very happy to be the winner.”

Jonathon Albon wins the Ben Nevis Ultra. Photo: No Limits Photography

Jonathon Albon wins the Ben Nevis Ultra. Photo: No Limits Photography

Friday saw the planned Ben Nevis ultra race diverted to a bad weather course.

Briton Jonathon Albon and Dutch runner Ragna Dabats took the men’s and women’s trophies respectively.

The course extended to 47.5km with a total ascent of 1,640m, although it missed out the higher summits of the original course, including the summit of the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis.

Albon said: “The course was not what we had come to compete on, but it was still a hard race for different reasons.

“After the first section of wet and slippery fells-like running, the route turned into a trail marathon.

“It was very runnable and that made it very fast but also very hard when you have trained for the mountains.”

The athlete, who lives in Norway with his ultrarunning wife Henriette, reckoned the course suited him better than others.

He said: “I would have liked to have won on a classic ultra course but the weather is what the weather is and it’s still a win.

“After the ups and downs, I guess the course just suited my stride and speed better. It’s great to be the ultra world champion.”

Ragna Dabats crosses the finish line with her daughter. Photo: No Limits Photography

Ragna Dabats crosses the finish line with her daughter. Photo: No Limits Photography

Ragna Dabats stole the show when she crossed the finish line in Kinlochleven holding her daughter’s hand.

She said: “I am really happy to be the winner. My season could not be more perfect because first I became the trail world champion in May and now the ultra skyrunning world champion.”

“It was a very fast course. The first part was very muddy and wet and I fell over completely in a big puddle, with my head right in. It was very steep up and down.

“The second part on tracks was very fast so I was just hoping my legs would be strong enough to get me to the finish.

“I think it was good for me because although I am not used to the mud I like the stony tracks. The win is so perfect for me.”

Speaking after Saturday’s victory in the Ring of Steall event, Jornet, who had a bloodied chin after falling on the final descent, said: “It was an amazing race on a beautiful and technical course. I am very happy to be the winner.”

Women’s winner Alexandersson said: “I did not have a big expectation of this race because I am new to skyraces but it was a nice day for me.

“It was a fantastic course and it feels amazing to be world champion.”

Sunday’s Glen Coe Skyline, the final race of the festival, includes the grade-three scramble up Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mòr and the grade two Aonach Eagach ridge.

Jasmin Paris is expected to defend her women’s title alongside Kílian Jornet who is aiming to repeat his victory in the men’s event.

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